In Theaters 09.22.2023

Farewell My Concubine

Directed by Chen Kaige
Film Movement Classics
170 Minutes
China, Hong Kong
Drama, Classics, Music, Romance, Asian

Cheng Dieyi (Leslie Cheung) and Duan Xiaolou (Zhang Fengyi) grow up enduring the harsh training of the Peking Opera Academy, where instructors regularly beat the students to instill in them the discipline needed to master the complex physical and vocal techniques of this ancient art. As the two boys mature, they develop complementary talents: Dieyi, with his fine, delicate features, assumes the female roles while Xiaolou plays masculine warlords. Their dramatic identities become real for Dieyi when he falls in love with Xiaolou, who fails to fully reciprocate his affections and marries a courtesan, Juxian (Gong Li), creating a dangerous, jealousy-filled romantic triangle.

Hailed as a “cultural achievement” (The New York Times) and widely considered one of the most important motion pictures ever made, FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE is a “gorgeous, intoxicating epic” (Los Angeles Times) that is both “visually spectacular” and “sumptuous in every respect” (Time Out). Spanning 50 years from the early 20th century to the tumultuous Cultural Revolution, Chen Kaige's passionate, exquisitely shot film captures the vast historical scope of a changing country while revealing the intimate and touching details of a unique, tender, heartrending love story. Based on the bestselling novel by Lillian Lee, it was selected as one of the “100 Best Films in Global History” by TIME Magazine, was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, and remains the only Chinese-language film to ever win the Palme d’Or.

In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Film Movement Classics is proud to bring the recently restored 4K version of this masterwork to North American theaters, where audiences in the U.S. and Canada will be able to see the complete, uncut film (20 minutes longer than its original Miramax theatrical release) on screen for the first time ever.

Director & Cast

  • Director: Chen Kaige
  • Starring: Leslie Cheung
  • Starring: Zhang Fengyi
  • Starring: Gong Li
  • Starring: Ge You

Where to Watch




  • "One of those very rare film spectacles that deliver just about everything the ads are likely to promise. "Farewell My Concubine" ... is a vastly entertaining movie. It's also one of such recognizably serious concerns that you can sink into it with pleasure and count it a cultural achievement. CRITIC'S PICK! "
    Vincent Canby, The New York Times
  • "This is entertaining filmmaking on a grand scale."
    Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
  • "Chen's remarkable movie uses an unusual love triangle to telescope more than 50 years of tumultuous Chinese history."
    David Ansen, Newsweek
  • ""Farewell My Concubine" is a demonstration of how a great epic can function. I was generally familiar with the important moments in modern Chinese history, but this film helped me to feel and imagine what it was like to live in the country during those times. This is one of the year's best films."
    Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
  • "Appropriately operatic, Chen's visually spectacular epic is sumptuous in every respect. Intelligent, enthralling, rhapsodic."
    Geoff Andrew, Time Out

Now Playing

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Film Forum New York NY September 22, 2023
Roxie Theater San Francisco CA September 29, 2023
Nuart Theatre Los Angeles CA September 29, 2023
Laemmle Glendale Glendale CA September 29, 2023
Gene Siskel Film Center Chicago IL September 29, 2023
City Cinema Charlottetown PEI October 2, 2023
Cinema Moderne Montreal QC October 4, 2023
SIFF Cinema Uptown Seattle WA October 6, 2023
Laemmle's Town Center 5 Encino CA October 6, 2023
The Colonial Theatre - Phoenixville Phoenixville PA October 6, 2023
Avon Cinema Providence RI October 6, 2023
Landmark Pasadena Playhouse Pasadena CA October 6, 2023
Laemmle Monica 4 Santa Monica CA October 6, 2023
Detroit Institute of Arts Detroit MI October 6, 2023
Cleveland Cinematheque Cleveland OH October 8, 2023
The Moviehouse Millerton NY October 11, 2023
Cinema St. Louis St. Louis MO October 13, 2023
VIFF Centre Vancouver BC October 13, 2023
Austin Film Society Austin TX October 13, 2023
The Cary Theater Cary NC October 13, 2023
Cinema 21 Portland OR October 13, 2023
SBIFF Riviera Theatre Santa Barbara CA October 13, 2023
Laemmle NoHo 7 North Hollywood CA October 13, 2023
Time and Space Limited Hudson NY October 14, 2023
Harris Theater Pittsburgh PA October 15, 2023
Philadelphia Film Festival Philadelphia PA October 19, 2023
Pickford Film Center Bellingham WA October 20, 2023
Alamo Drafthouse La Vista La Vista NE November 1, 2023
Art House Eugene Eugene OR November 2, 2023
The Brattle Cambridge MA November 3, 2023
Gateway Film Center 8 Columbus OH November 3, 2023
Tallahassee Film Society Tallahassee FL November 3, 2023
Belcourt Theatre Nashville TN November 3, 2023
AFI Silver Theatre Silver Spring MD November 10, 2023
Alamo Drafthouse Wrigleyville Chicago IL November 11, 2023
Metro Cinema Edmonton AB November 12, 2023
Columbian Theatre Astoria OR November 17, 2023
Plaza Theater Atlanta GA November 17, 2023
Digital Gym Cinema San Diego CA November 17, 2023
MFA Houston Houston TX November 26, 2023
Bryn Mawr Film Institute Bryn Mawr PA February 24, 2024